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SBD Global/September 10, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Emirates Airlines Making Global Sports Sponsorship Push

Emirates Airlines has become "a new big spender" on the global sports marketing scene "looking to 'wow' sports fans and create new business," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com's Playbook blog. Those who visited the U.S. Open the past two weeks would have had "a hard time not stopping to take a look at the Emirates Airline booths, encased in glass and filled with flight attendants." It could be viewed as "a surprising sponsorship," but the amount of potential business at hand "makes the brand's investment clear." Emirates Sponsorship head Roger Duthie said, "We are still low on brand awareness. We need to tell people what we are all about." As Dubai has grown into a tourist destination in recent years, the airline has "ramped up its advertising in the sports space." It has spent money on football in Europe, putting its name on Arsenal's jerseys and stadium, on AC Milan's jerseys, and becoming the official airline of Real Madrid. Its sponsorship with FIFA gives the airline "highly visible signage" during World Cup games. It also has sponsored a European Tour event, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, and the European Ryder Cup team. In July, Emirates doubled its efforts in the U.S. by signing a "huge" seven-year, $91M deal with the U.S. Tennis Association (ESPN.com, 9/6).
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